Are you curious how the multitudes of public infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers stack up? Thanks to Gartner, there is no longer a need to wonder. The analyst firm has released its first magic quadrant for the public IaaS market.

The IaaS Market

The IaaS market has been growing rapidly. New vendors are constantly flooding the market, and many estimates suggest the market will be at least $20 billion by 2015. Gartner’s estimates that IaaS will soon account for a quarter of the overall hosting market. Despite the growth, the IaaS market is still very much in an early adopter stage. Organizations are still figuring out what moving to the cloud means in terms of information management, regulations and staff utilization.

Even analyst report skeptics might want to take a peek at the report, because unlike most magic quadrants, the analyst actually performed hands on testing for each service she evaluated.

Ranking the Market

Technically, the IaaS magic quadrant is a completely new report. A similar report by the same analyst was published in December 2010 but it included IaaS and web hosting. The new public IaaS report is a more focused segment of the previous report. The new format is more convenient for the ready and more money for Gartner. It’s a win, win right? The public IaaS report evaluates IaaS providers based on the typical needs of mid-market companies and tech companies of various sizes. The target audience is an important factor to note because the requirements of an individual IaaS consumer tend to be very different than enterprise customers.

The vendors in the leaders’ quadrant are really no surprise -- Amazon and CSC. Amazon obviously has more brand name recognition due to its early market entry and huge diversity of products. CSC, however, is no less a market leader. CSC’s IaaS platform excels at addressing the requirements of mid-market IT operations leadership. CSC’s cloud service has also been growing faster than any other VMWare-based provider in the market.

The report includes a number of other interesting findings:

  • Organizations do not save money by adopting IaaS. IT operations have become so automated, that moving to IaaS provides very little, if any, additional cost efficiency.
  • IaaS service level agreements (SLA) are still in a very embryonic state. Most SLAs are inadequate, not beneficial to customers and fail to address compute and storage performance.
  • Few IaaS providers offer availability and performance monitoring.
  • Few IaaS providers have a consistent architecture across private and public cloud offerings.

Gartner has not made any public previews of the report available, but representatives have indicated it will be published “soon”.